December fetes.

Dec. 1

Festival of Trees, a benefit for the Children's National Medical Center's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, is at the Four Seasons Hotel. The event, a cocktail reception, features a lighting ceremony of 15 holiday trees decorated by top designers. Tickets: $125. Call 202-884-4219.

Dec. 2

The 15th Anniversary Washington Jewish Film Festival: An Exhibition of International Cinema (Dec. 2-12) kicks off with the Washington premiere of "Lost Embrace" at the Washington Jewish Community Center's Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater. A reception follows. Tickets: $20. For information call 202-777-3248 or visit To order tickets call 800-494-TIXS or visit

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Center for Corporate Citizenship's 2004 Annual Corporate Citizenship Awards Dinner is at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. CNBC's Ron Insana is the master of ceremonies. U.S. Chamber President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue and outgoing Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans will make presentations. Tickets: $250 ($200 for U.S. Chamber members). Call 202-463-3133 or visit

Former president Bill Clinton and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo are the speakers at the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation's dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which honors the leadership of the New Partnership for Africa's Development. Tickets: $100. Call 202-736-2239.

A benefit preview party for ArtsMart, a shopping event Dec. 3-5 at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is in the Renwick's Grand Salon. ArtsMart, free and open to the public, will feature the sale of one-of-a-kind fine craft items and demonstrations by craft artists. The benefit preview offers shopping, a wine tasting and music, and benefits the gallery's educational programs. There is also an online auction at Dec. 1-10. Benefit preview tickets: $75 ($60 for SAAM members; $67.50 for Smithsonian Associates, Contributing Membership and James Renwick Alliance members. Call 202-275-2312.

Holiday Surprises!, the Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts' benefit for its artist-in-residence program, which brings art into the lives of cancer patients, their caregivers and medical professionals at the Washington Cancer Institute and the Howard University Hospital Cancer Center, is at the center at 1632 U St. NW. The benefit includes a reception with live music, a silent auction and the sale of works by local professional printmakers and photographers. Tickets: $50. Call 202-483-8600 or visit

Dec. 3

The Basketball, the Children's Charities Foundation's 10th anniversary gala, is at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, with entertainment by KC and the Sunshine Band. The gala is held in connection with the 2004 BB&T Classic, a two-day syndicated televised men's college basketball tournament Dec. 4 and 5 featuring the University of Maryland Terrapins, the George Washington University Colonials, the Michigan State University Spartans and the George Mason University Patriots. Tickets: $500 (includes a priority ticket to all four games of the BB&T Classic). Call 410-448-0700.

Special Olympics D.C.'s 20th Annual Night of Trees Auction is at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. Invited guest hosts: Kwame Jackson and Bradford Cohen from the NBC show "The Apprentice." Tickets: $125. Call 202-408-2640.

Taste of Scotland, one of the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend events of the Campagna Center in Alexandria, is at the Campagna Center and features a tasting of hard-to-find rare scotches direct from Scottish distilleries. Tickets: $55, $75 and $90. Call 703-549-0111 or visit

The National Defense University Foundation's 2004 American Patriot Award dinner honoring former Senate majority leader Bob Dole is at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Tickets: $1,000. Call 703-556-4336.

The Audubon Naturalist Society's preview party for the 35th Audubon Holiday Fair is at the Woodend Mansion in Chevy Chase. The holiday fair is Dec. 4 and 5. Preview party tickets: $35 ($45 at the door). Preview party tickets are $10 for children under 12 and free for children under 2. Call 301-652-9188 or visit

Dec. 5

The Anacostia Economic Development Corporation Scholarship Foundation's annual fundraising brunch is at the Washington Hilton. The foundation provides college scholarships to graduating seniors of Anacostia and Ballou high schools. Tickets: $100. Call 202-889-5100.

Dec. 9

The 19th Annual Montgomery County Executive's Ball, a benefit for arts and humanities programs in the county, is at the New Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. Tickets: $100 ($125 at the door). Call 301-565-3805.

The Alliance to Save Energy's annual Stars of Energy Efficiency Awards dinner honors Bank of America, Marriott International Inc. and Bonneville Power Administration/Southern California Edison for their contributions to energy efficiency. Former senator Charles H. Percy, the Alliance founder, will be honored with a lifetime achievement award. The recipients of the Chairman's Award and the Charles H. Percy Award for Public Service will also be announced. Tickets: $1,000 to $25,000. Call 202-530-2228 or visit

Dec. 10

The Washington Performing Arts Society's world premiere performance of "Suite for Human Nature" featuring the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and the Boys Choir of Harlem is at the Lincoln Theatre. A reception with the artists follows. Event proceeds will benefit the Black Student Fund and the Washington Performing Arts Society's educational and artistic programs. Tickets start at $250. Call 202-654-7008.

The Nutcracker Ball, the Washington Ballet's celebration of the world premiere of its all-new production of "The Nutcracker," includes the opening night performance at the Warner Theatre and the seated dinner at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium at the Department of Commerce that follows. Tickets: $500. Call 202-362-3606, Ext. 125.

The Young Benefactors of the Smithsonian Institution's 15th annual Jolly Holiday celebration is at the Smithsonian Castle. Tickets: $45 ($35 for members). A limited number of tickets may be available at the door for an additional $10 charge. Call 202-357-3030 or visit

The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education's 10th Annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala is at the Washington Convention Center. The foundation will present more than 50 awards to educators including the NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence. The NEA Foundation Award for Outstanding Service to Public Education will be presented to Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, the author and illustrator of Scholastic's "Magic School Bus" children's series. Tickets start at $1,000. Call 202-822-7840 or visit

Dec. 12

Dessert With Dickens, a benefit for the Arlington Symphony featuring a solo performance of "A Christmas Carol" by British actor Gerald Charles Dickens (great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens), is at the Arlington Hilton. The benefit starts with tea, champagne and dessert. Tickets: $80. Call 703-528-1817 or visit

The 15th Anniversary Washington Jewish Film Festival: An Exhibition of International Cinema closes with the Washington premiere of "Modigliani," at the French Embassy. A reception follows. Tickets: $20. (Tickets must be purchased by 1 p.m. on Dec. 12; no tickets will be sold at the door.) For information call 202-777-3248 or visit To order tickets call 800-494-TIXS or visit

Dec. 13

The Choral Arts Society of Washington's Christmas in Singapore benefit offers the society's Christmas Music Concert in the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center and a silent auction and dinner dance afterward at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Tickets: $425. Call 202-244-3669 or visit

Dec. 14

People for the American Way and People for the American Way Foundation's 2004 Spirit of Liberty Celebration at the Kennedy Center honors Alec Baldwin, Carole Shields, Susan Sarandon and Raul Yzaguirre. Amanda McBroom will perform; Chevy Chase and Cynthia Nixon will be master and mistress of ceremonies. A dessert reception follows. Tickets: $250. Call 202-467-2336 or visit

Dec. 20

The Washington Auto Show Congressional Gala at the Washington Convention Center is sponsored by the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association and benefits the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, the Primary Care Coalition, the R. Adams Crowley Shock Trauma Center and the Washington Hospital Center Foundation. Tickets: $150. The Washington Auto Show is Dec. 26-Jan. 2. Call 1-866-WASH-AUTO or 202-237-7200 or visit

Bill Clinton and Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, pictured here in 2000, are the speakers at the Leon H. Sullivan Foundation's dinner on Dec. 2.The Boys Choir of Harlem joins Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra on Dec. 10 at the Lincoln Theatre for the world premiere of "Suite for Human Nature."